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Citizens Union Calls on New York City to Move Municipal Elections to Even-Numbered Years

January 27, 2023 - Citizens Union issued a report outlining the benefits of moving New York City’s municipal elections to even-numbered years. This move would bring elections for city offices in line with gubernatorial or presidential elections. Municipal elections in New York City, which are currently held in odd-numbered years, have consistently seen lower voter turnout than elections held in even-numbered years. Consolidating municipal elections with presidential or gubernatorial elections will increase voter turnout, giving more New Yorkers a say over who governs them at the local level.

CU Report: Moving Municipal Elections to Even-Numbered Years

A new report by Citizens Union aims to examine the potential benefits and impacts of moving New York City's municipal elections "on-cycle" to even-numbered years, to coincide with the presidential or gubernatorial/midterm elections. We analyze how consolidating elections would affect overall turnout, demographics of the electorate, and administrative burdens and costs. The report also looks into the experience of cities that have moved their local elections on-cycle in recent years, like El Paso, Phoenix, and Baltimore, and charts a path to change the election year in New York.

Citizens Union, other good government groups demand Council hold hearings to vet Board of Elections nominee

December 19, 2022 -- Citizens Union, Common Cause NY, the League of Women Voters of the City of New York, NYPIRG and Reinvent Albany have sent a letter to NYC Council Speaker Adrienne Adams and Majority Leader and Rules Committee Chair Keith Powers, calling on the Council to hold a public confirmation hearing for the New York County Democratic nominee for Commissioner of Elections and take transparent measures that would vet the nominee’s experience and fitness to administer elections. 

Citizens Union Issues Statement in Response to 2022 State Budget Deal

April 8, 2022 - Citizens Union releases the following statement from Executive Director Betsy Gotbaum on the details of the New York State budget deal: “Governor Hochul’s first state budget presented a rare opportunity to push for meaningful ethics reform in Albany. Unfortunately, the governor and the legislature failed to create an independent ethics oversight body. The new commission designed to replace JCOPE is fatally flawed, will not have the public’s confidence and will not be able to oversee the state’s most powerful elected officials without fear or favor.

Memo of Support: A642B/S284B, Counting “Wrong Church” affidavit ballots

March 18, 2022 - Memorandum of support for A642B (Myrie)/S284B (Carroll), an act to amend the election law, in relation to counting of affidavit ballots. This bill would require counting the votes of eligible voters who cast an affidavit ballot at an incorrect poll site but in the correct county, instead of disqualifying the entire ballot. Only votes for contests to which that individual was entitled to vote in would be counted.

Citizens Union Analysis Shows Positive Impact of Ranked Choice Voting in June Election

July 19, 2021 - Citizens Union released a detailed analysis of the June primary elections in New York City, examining the impact of Ranked Choice Voting. The analysis found that Ranked Choice Voting gave more voters a say in elections, with fewer votes “wasted” on candidates who fell well short of winning their races. The analysis also found that voter turnout increased; voters embraced Ranked Choice Voting and navigated the system well; and the number of women running, and the number of women and people of color winning increased. These benefits were seen throughout the city.

Regaining New Yorkers’ Trust After Board of Elections June Results Blunder

June 1, 2021 - The most recent blunder by the New York City Board of Elections, the latest in a long line of fiascos, has damaged the public’s confidence in this election. The June 29 reporting error was a result of a human error, and the Board of Elections has since issued corrected vote counts. The Board publicly apologized for the error and admitted that it must now “regain the trust of New Yorkers.” What should be done to regain New Yorker’s trust?

Statement from Betsy Gotbaum of Citizens Union on Reports of New Yorkers being sent incorrect absentee ballots

September 29, 2020 -  Citizens Union has issued the following statement from Executive Director Betsy Gotbaum in response to the reports of voters in New York City being sent incorrect absentee ballots: “The recently reported absentee ballot mishaps in Brooklyn and Queens have only exacerbated what was already poised to be a difficult and confusing election for voters. New York has to get this right. We know that President Trump will seize on anything he can to attempt to undermine the legitimacy of mail in ballots in New York City.” 
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